The Beatles famously wrote that we “get by with a little help from” our friends. This is true for all walks of life, in some way or another, but it rings especially true at the Gibson Memorial Library. Since 1930, our public library has owed its very existence to volunteers who have donated their time and money to insure that it remains a vehicle for providing up-to-date print materials, cultural programming and vital public services.
Our board of trustees, volunteer staff and special-needs volunteers give of themselves to supply the leadership, financial support and material assistance that enables the library staff to focus on serving our patrons. In recent years, however, a special-interest group has emerged to help us meet our needs and to win privileges for its members.
A special-interest group? You might ask, is that like the NRA or Sierra Club? Well, yes, in the sense they are a nonprofit organization with a declared agenda, to which donations are tax-deductible. Any guesses yet? Hint: the “special-interest” that unites them is a desire to support Gibson Memorial Library.
If you guessed I’m writing about Creston Friends of the Library, you’re right! Our muse, Matilda, has had many dear friends going back to the late 1920s. However, it was 1997, when her friends joined together as a nonprofit organization devoted to supporting the Creston public library, making 2017 their 20th anniversary.
It would be a shame if we let that occasion pass without throwing a party, and that’s just what our library trustees are doing to express thanks for all the friends have done. So save the date, from 2 to 4 p.m. Aug. 26, – it’s the FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY 20th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION. All members of our beloved friends’ group are invited to the library for an event that promises fun and fellowship. We’ll recognize past officers, hear a brief history of the group and enjoy refreshments and socializing with a live musical accompaniment.
The friends were instrumental in raising funds needed for completing Matilda’s 1997 addition, which included an elevator and an entrance accessible to folks with disabilities, and last April, generously contributed $10,000 to our current capital campaign. The friends bake and deliver Valentine’s Cookie Bouquets to benefit the library and host two annual book sales: a Scholastic Book market at the restored Depot on July Fourth and a Balloon Days used book sale in the fall. They host an annual scrapbooking event that draws folks from throughout the area, and I’m just scratching the surface of ways they help Matilda meet expenses that fall outside her budget.
Can’t save the date because you’re not a friend? The event is free to members, but for $10 at the door, you can become a Creston friend of the library and join in the fun. In addition to admission, you’ll receive an extra week on your library checkouts and three days’ grace period on fines. To my knowledge, this is the first and only gathering of all the friends, so don’t miss this unique chance to eat, drink, socialize and show your support for Matilda. Paul and Ringo may not be there, but some talented musicians will be, celebrating with a little help from our friends.